Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Calling All Culinarians

So Missionary Monday didn't happen this week. I had a nice, long post on a super, interesting topic planned (at least that's what I thought about it), but I lacked time! Mondays are a little difficult, and I'm kind of embarrassed about it too because I'm using someone else's idea. Do yo think that's tacky? I think I might try to be a little more original. {I guess I shouldn't ask you for help if I want to be "original", but I am. }

I need some help with another idea- it doesn't have to be a "day" of the week, about just a catchy title that I could use. I thought about "Missionary Moments", but I don't know, it's a little too close to "Missionary Monday". I know some of you have great imaginations and can do a great job thinking up interesting titles. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Please help me brainstorm.

Also, I need your help in another area. Before I came to Brazil I always had an electric stove/oven. Here in Brazil, it is gas. I can't seem to "get" it. If I bake chicken or potatoes or something like that everything turns out fine, but when I bake cakes, pies, brownies, etc. half of it usually comes out a little on the burnt side on the bottom.

No matter how many times I rotate it, move it to the top rack, put it in the back of the oven, etc., etc., etc., almost without fail half of the bottom generally turns out more "done" than I like. It's still edible, just not as good as the other half...and kind of embarrassing. Any suggestions??? Anyone else ever had this problem? I'm counting on some of you culinarians to strengthen my cooking abilities!

This is kind of a random post on things I usually don't blog about, {especially when I'm supposed to be cleaning my house and studying Portuguese} but I figured my blog has been on the desolate side for a while now and needed a little bit of endearment.


  1. Hey Esther,
    Here is a tip that really works for me if I am baking something special and don't want the bottom too dark! Place cake or whatever on an empty cookie sheet. Bake cookies with 2 sheets together. (Kind of a cheap version of the air-filled ones) With gas stoves one has to be very careful not to over bake. Let me know if it works for you. Lawanda

  2. I have air-bake cookie sheets, and I love them! Nothing ever burns. I would recommend them to every missionary wife, but I am not sure if you can get them there. Sometimes I use an air-bake pan under a pie or bread pan too.

    I am using an electric oven right now, but it is not mine. Soon I will be getting a gas one, so I will probably be learning right along with you. I do have a temperature chart with gas equivalents on it if you want it. I don't know your e-mail address; mine is If you want I can send you my chart. It has already helped me a lot with the Celsius/Fahrenheit conversions.

  3. Lawanda, I tried with my chocolate cheesecake to put a pan on the bottom, but it still got a little too dark on the bottom. Maybe I should have done something a little extra with that. I hadn't thought about doing that with everything though. Good idea. I'm going to try that from now on.

    I do have some air-bake cookie sheets (and the things I use that for usually turn out fine), but like I said to Lawanda, I hadn't thought to put it under everything...maybe that will help. I will email you later today. Thanks!

  4. Ok, I've never cooked with a gas oven so all I can do for that is wish you good luck but I did have some thoughts to change up your missionary mondays into something else. Take what you like and leave what you don't, hopefully this will at least get your creative juices flowing!
    Moments with a Missionary Wife
    Missions Moment/Minute
    Brazil, Portuguese and Coco-Cola :)
    Welcome to (the name of your town, burrow or street, written in portuguese)
    I know I'm probably slaughtering the name of your language and I am sorry for that! The last idea I had was to write your title(whatever you decide it should be) in portuguese (again, spelling???) Whatever you do I'm sure it will be wonderful and I'm looking forward to the next one whenever it is!

  5. Eric has 2 ideas. The reason the bottom may be baking too much. The metal pan will heat up faster than the air in the oven. Thus you need to thicken the bottom layer of metal. As already suggested use two cookie sheets instead of one. If making a cake put a cookie sheet underneath it. If this does not completely work. Try a water bath. Use two pans but put a 1/4 inch of water in the bottom pan. Hope this helps!!

  6. Hey Becky, Thanks for the good ideas. I think my favorite is Moments with a Missionary Wife. I think for now I've decided I'm just not going to do anything with it though. Maybe after things get settled down I'll revive "something" if you happen to come up with anything else...feel free to let me know. Thanks for the help!

    Bowmasters...nice to hear from you and thanks for the tips. I haven't baked anything this week, but hopefully it will work on my next opportunity! Hope you all are doing well!